Biography of Zarina de Rusia Ana Ivanovna (1693-1740)

Czarina of Russia of the Romanov Dynasty, born in Moscow January 28, 1693 and died 17 October 1740 in Petersburgo. He/She was the daughter of Tsar Iván V and Prascovia Saltikova; It was sister to Catherine of Mecklemburgo.

In 1710 he/she married Federico Guillermo Kettler, Duke of Courland (now in Latvia), who died the following year without that they had offspring. For nineteen years he/she lived poorly in Courland, which spoiled her character. In 1730, when he/she was about thirty-seven years, was crowned Tsarina, happening to its relative Pedro II (died childless), and after being elected by the Supreme Council. Courland was brought a loving young man, Ernst Johann Biren, of very humble origin, who awarded titles (Grand Chamberlain and count of the Empire, and later Duke of Courland) and wealth, to make him the greatest holder of lands of the country; He/She also built him a Palace in Petersburgo and instituted a riding school for him. Biren would favor with the Tsarina to conquer a predominant position along with other Germans, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Ostermann and Marshal Münnich.

Biren availed herself of a Department of espionage he/she founded, the secret Chancellery, which executed or deported anyone that seems to attack the regime of the Tsarina (in total, about 20,000 Russians were deported). Also introduced in the imperial administration numerous officers of German origin, creating a resentment toward foreigners in the Russian people. Ana did not attempt to halt abuses of your favorite in no time. He/She same acted at times in a similar way, for example, with respect to the luxury of his court. Petersburgo rebuilt the Palacio de winter, who covered with refined decoration, fashion imposed to the nobility, as well as certain forms of dress and grooming. The great dances that organized exhausted Royal Treasury, which had no income because of poor harvests (many lands were not cultivated by the deportations) and trade crisis (tax that taxed him were excessive). It had also extravagant tastes, like having your service at Jesters and dwarves, and cruel gestures, humiliating at times certain nobles (as Prince Miguel Golitsin, which is converted to Catholicism after marrying a woman of this confession, and who was punished for this reason).

Finally, it declared two wars, one on the occasion of the succession of Poland (1733-1736, installing to Augustus III on the Throne), and another against the Turks, allying Carlos VI of Austria and regaining Azov but with thousands of casualties. Such arbitrariness tired many, they began to think about the daughter of Pedro I, the great, Elizabeth Petrovna, who lived outside the policy on the outskirts of Moscow. Ana, however, named successor to his niece Ana Léopoldovna, Duchess of Mecklenburg (daughter of his sister Catherine), who married in 1739 with Antonio Ulrich of Brunswick-Lüneburg. The following year was born a male, Ivan, of this link and when the Tsarina Anna fell ill in November, Biren convinced it to appoint heir to the child and he/she as Regent. Ana, although he/she knew the unpopular measure, relented and so did, dying almost immediately with some 47 years of age. As he/she had predicted, Iván VI reign only a few months, while Biren would exercise the Regency far, only a few weeks until it was stopped and sent to Siberia.


COWLES, V. The Romanovs. (Barcelona, Noguer: 1975).

CURTISS, M. Forgotten Empress: Anna Ivanovna and Her Era. (New York, Frederick Ungar: 1975).

LONGWORTH, Ph. The three empresses: Catherine I, Anne, and Elizabeth of Russia. (New York, Rinehart and Winston: 1973).

WARNES, D. Chronicle of the Russian Tsars. (London, Thames-Hudson: 1999).

Links on the Internet ; Page with genealogical data from Ana Ivanovna (in French). ; Page with information about the Romanovs (in English). ; Page with various information and images on the Romanov (in Russian).